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Poem Analysis: In Detention – Chris Van Wyk. In Detention. by Chris Van Wyk. Analysis by Lelethu Yeki. He fell from the ninth floor. He hanged. IN DETENTION. CHRIS VAN WYK ( -) Van Wyk published a volume of poetry,. He employs In Detention (title): During the Apartheid. Era, police. Christopher van Wyk: farewell to a South African literary icon shot to fame through his widely anthologised poem In Detention, which satirised the Chris Van Wyk is survived by his wife and childhood sweetheart Kathy, and.

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Such people, by being brought to laughter, might also have been convinced of the seriousness of their crimes. The poem explores the likelihood of the three standard explanations of that time being true: He has then merely listed them. The best tribute detenntion can pay is to continue the work.

Christopher van Wyk

No part of it may be reproduced in any form whatever without explicit permission in writing from the author. Topics Books The Observer. Structure The basic technique used in this poem is repetition and variation.

Loading comments… Trouble loading? If you had contact with dhris and would like to leave a message, please send us an e-mail here. There is, however, a danger in this because it limits readership to those who are already convinced. Through writing tools such as sarcasm and repetition, the writer brings our attention to the absurd variations of the explanations that the police gave.

The result is a compendium of idiotic excuses which becomes the vehicle reflecting the stupidity of these excuses that were indeed genuinely made. This page was last edited on 15 Januaryat But above all, he says, don’t give yourself away by laughing at a joke that you have overheard. Chris Van Wyk is survived by his wife and childhood sweetheart Kathy, and his two sons Kevin and Karl.

In Detention

He credits much of his success in storytelling to his love of “skinder” gossip. What is the overall TONE of this short poem?


Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Van Wyk and his wife, Kathy, had two sons. Prisoners who were regarded as politically dangerous often met with a savage death while in detention. Indeed, it is hard to see what questions could be asked in the exams. Van Wyk is famous for his poem “In Detention” on the suspicious deaths that befell South African political prisoners during Apartheid. These include not behaving like a quiet little mouse but rather making noises, “like drinking a glass of water” or singing bits from pop songs or calling to the dog outside, or doing something like reading or writing while you are also preoccupied in listening.

He has written books for neo-literate adults, such as The Murder of Mrs. Newer Post Older Post Home. By referring to the men as “he” and not giving any specific names, shows that these deaths occured quite often to many people.

He listened to all the gossip between his mother and her friends, and this found its way into the many stories which he thereupon wrote. Show 25 25 50 All. Fortunately, Van Wyk survived the interrogation and continued to be an important literary voice in the post-apartheid era. On the other hand, the poet has achieved his end simply by taking the three most common reasons given for the deaths in detention and has played around with them, mixing each with the other.

He would win other awards for his novels and short stories, including the Maskew Miller Longman Award for Black Children’s Literature in and the Sanlam Literary Award for the best short story of The excuses given were usually the same: Because the poet bases the poem on the words used by the security police themselves, it is also an example of satire.

Nevertheless, here are some topics to test you. It is also important to carefully look at the actual explanations, where one can realize that in fact the police were highly dishonest: He was also editor of Staffrider and started the short-lived Wietie magazine with fellow qyk, Fhazel Johennesse.


In this way the poem makes a very powerful protest at this gross violation of human rights. Many deention the liberation poets adopted a tone of serious venom as their vehicle. Wednesday, 16 October Poem Analysis: When he was a little older, his family moved to Riverleaa suburb outside of Johannesburg.

As the poem progresses, the explanations become more and more strange and queer, creating more of an effect of twisted facts. In he received the Maskew Chria Longman Literature Award for black children’s literature for A Message in the Windthe story of two boys who travel in their homemade time machine to their shared tribal past of From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Detentioj it is possible to strike one’s head after slipping on a piece of soap, nevertheless deaths would be few and far between.

Christopher van Wyk: farewell to a South African literary icon | Books | The Guardian

Christopher van Wyk JohannesburgTransvaal. The main idea and purpose of the poem is to state or show the reasons and excuses that were given by the Apartheid police for killing people in prison. Van Wyk was born in Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. Shirley, Goodness and MercyIn Detention poem. Van Wyk showed signs of wanting to be a writer as early as five years of age — and since then, he says, he has had a love affair with words.

Each therefore begins on a separate line, and each begins in the same way, “He.

Death by hanging was therefore a very complicated, difficult and painful process of twisting one’s clothes around one’s neck. After seeing the heavily barred cell windows from which Timol and other detainees were supposed to have jumped, Van Wyk recited his poem: